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Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II
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Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  566 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Penguin delivers you to the front lines of The Pacific Theater with the real-life stories behind the HBO miniseries.Former Marine and Pacific War veteran Robert Leckie tells the story of the invasion of Okinawa, the closing battle of World War II. Leckie is a skilled military historian, mixing battle strategy and analysis with portraits of the men who fought on both sides ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Penguin Books (first published 1995)
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This was the last little WWII book I had stockpiled away to read while I watched "The Pacific." It was a very much a strategic and military history (more than say a personal war account, although there were a few of those mixed in) and therefore was a little hard for me to follow at times. It was remarkable in that it followed both the strategic moves of the Japanese AND the American forces on Okinawa. The two biggest things I learned were 1) what a huge part Kamikaze played in the last effort o ...more
Michael Blackmer
Excellent account of the battle for Okinawa by a participant. Very clearly written and lays out the background of the battle well at the start.
Cole Greer
The author wrote this book to show us the experiences that the people and the war went through. Robert Leckie really wanted to show us about the experiences and what people were going through.

The theme of this book is to never give up. Always keep fighting. There were long and bloody battles that only the toughest would win.
There were long nights and bloody days, if you would of given up, you would of died.

This was written in a description style. Robert described the events and the experiences
Trenton Hayes
Well, I came to this book wanting to dig deeper into WWII, after a soupçon of a one-volume history, and I had this laying at hand. My granddaddy fought here, and I knew only the broadest outlines of the battle, so why not?

This is a soldier's account. That pretty much means it is not for me; I am not terribly interested in the history of squad-level tactics, and as magnificent as CMofH winners are, invariably, short accounts of their mind-blowing heroics are usually not interesting(either nothing
Robert Leckie was a marine in the Pacific during WWII. He has written a number of books, perhaps most notably "Helmet on My Pillow," a WWII personal memoir which served as one of the primary references for the HBO 2010 mini-series "The Pacific." He died in 2001 so would not know that his material would have renewed and important life given to it. As I learned from reading PT Deutermann's "Sentinels of Fire," the kamikaze was a devastatingly effective weapon of war against the American fleet in t ...more
My wild guess is, please help me out here, that Robert Leckie has made a mistake in his book. In CH 24, he says "Ushijima...their headquarter under Hill 95...". Actually, Ushijima's final HQ was in Hill 89, not Hill 95. The Peace Memorial Park at Okinawa says it was Hill 89. The USMC's Okinawa: Victory in Pacific says Hill 89 (page 248). Hill 95 is actually 2.3 miles northeast to Hill 89, very close to Hanagusuku. Hill 95 is not even in Mabuni area. If I'm right, and if the Park official and USM ...more
Clint Deroze
Many people say that history is written by the victor. The book Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II is not only a book about the American campaign, but also gives you a view of the Japanese perspective of this fierce battle. I thought this book was my favorite World War II book and that’s coming from a military buff.

I feel that the author did have a purpose in writing this book and that purpose being to inform people of the brutal fighting and staggering loss by both sides. Another reason
Patrick McCoy
I enjoyed Robert Leckie's autobiography, Helmet for My Pillow (one of the biographies that inspired the HBO miniseries The Pacific). So when I found out that he had written a book on the battle of Okinawa, Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II (1996), before I was scheduled for my second visit to the island I knew it would be my background reading there. Leckie points out some astonishing facts: "Never before...had there been an invasion armada the equal of the 1,600 seagoing ships carrying 5 ...more
Clayton Weller
The book I have read for this assignment was, "Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II", by Robert Leckie. The reason the author wrote this story was to entertain the reader by a way of teaching and describing the real battle of Okinawa in a thrilling and amusing historic story. The author took a real historic event and real historic facts about the history of World War II and put it in an exciting story in how the United States Military defeated the Japanese enemy.
The theme of this story is
Duncan Mandel
Marine and Pacific war veteran Robert Leckie retells the epic story of the battle of Okinawa from both sides. Strikingly intimate portraits of the Japanese generals, the American soldiers, and their commanding officers brilliantly illuminate those individuals who fought in this bloody confrontation. of photos.
frederick haustein
verry accurate

I was on yontan in a corsair squadron vmf 311
I was a plane caption on 317, Tommy sherry was the pilot who
shot down 7enemy planes.
after the airborne attack Tokyo rose came on the radio and
said you boys think that you had fun last night wate until
tonight. nothing happened.

Wes Bartlett
Read this book for book club (a book that takes place in Asia). Interesting perspective. Author is a WWII Vet. It was obvious he knows a lot about the military. Good description but used too much military jargon when describing the units involved in the battle.
Great book on content- but the version with no maps is annoying. Still a GREAT book by one who was there. Goes for a little melodrama- but still a gets across the insanity that was Okinawa...
Sandra Ianuzi
This was a great read - easy read. Quick overview of the Battle on Okinawa. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in WWII books.
i really wanted to like this book, but i could not get over the fact news-type of narration with several stories here and there. it is indeed glorious material, but told poorly, IMHO.
Jens Ivar
Stories about war are difficult to tell. Huge battles where tactics matter, individual storie and the background must told in non-confusing matter. It is difficult.

And Robert Leckie told the story of Okinawa in a Ok fashion. But he is a veteren himself so he emphasis on how the military of USA is great and he talks much about the heroics of the soldiers of USA. In the battle of Okinawa lots of young men went to die, and often in the most horrifying circumstances where they did not have any choi
Xianhai Cao (EVHS)
I felt that this book was alright. At certain points, it was quite slow, but at others, it was very interesting. It goes into great detail of the different key events in the war and is really worthwhile to read.
An excellent account of the battle for Okinawa. Not as colorful as Leckie's memoir "A Helmet For My Pillow" nor Eugene Sledge's outstanding "With The Old Breed". There are just a few anecdotes, most involving the Marines of Leckie's own 1st Division (though he was long out of action by this point in the war). Regardless, it's a thorough study of the last battle of WWII and a fascinating look at the complex relationships the American and Japanese commanders had with their subordinates.
Timothy EVHS Do
I found Leckie's account of the Pacific theater to be very informative and entertaining. He writes about the circumstances of the battle from both sides and occasionally ties in his own experiences. The level of desperation of the Japanese forces towards the end of the war was displayed in full. Operation Ten-Go was a last attempt to push back the Americans. It was a nice change of pace from a normal informative book and I really enjoyed it.
Chris Reznor
An exceptionally biased piece of historical literature. Given that the author fought in the theater being examined (though not in Okinawa itself) this is hardly a surprise though the occasional racists epithets cannot be excused. Still, there is the expression about history being written by the victors, of which this is a glowing example (though not to take away from the immense bravery of American troops who served).
Michael Gerald Dealino
There was a misconception that D-Day (Normandy) was the largest amphibious invasion. In reality, it was Okinawa. The fanaticism of the Japanese was defeated by American courage and sealed the deal for the decisive-and justified-use of the atomic bombs, thus putting an end to Japanese militarism and the Second World War.
Robert Melnyk
Very good account of the battle at Okinawa. Well written and a quick read, giving details of this battle, as well as the reasons for the importance the battle. Reading books such as this one always leaves me in awe of what these men went through, and an understanding of why they are called "The Greatest Generation."
A very solid overview of the battle of Okinawa. For those familiar with Leckie's more personal work (Helmet for My Pillow), this work bears little resemblance to that. It's a serious introduction for a casual audience.
I'm not one to read war books like this but it was pretty decent. The chapters were short and it kept me going. A few characters I really liked even though they were only present for a paragraph or so.
Jun 23, 2014 Dave rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Very good and detailed history of the battle for Okinawa which did not get the attention that the D-Day invasion received but was just as crucial and costly in lives lost .
Kirk Bower
Wow! Gives a strong first hand perspective. Last major Japanese assault and everything thrown at the allies - plus heat, rain, SNAKES, and flame throwers. Must have been unreal.
Very -- almost too -- detailed and precise account of the battle. Some language and cultural representations that might seem a bit dated (written by a vet of the Pacific).
This was a very interesting read about the battle for Okinawa. I actually liked the way he wrote this better than he did on his other book, Helmet for my Pillow.

I just learned my grandfather earned 2 bronze stars there, so I want to learn as much as I can about it. Gives a good overview of it all.
Fredrick Danysh
Leckie describes the Battle of Okinawa from his own historical perspective. A good book to compares other works about the battle against.
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Leckie was born on December 18, 1920, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey. He began his career as a writer in high school, as a sports writer for ''The Bergen Evening Record'' in Hackensack, New Jersey.

On January 18, 1942, Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.He served in combat in the Pacific theater, as a scout and a machine gunner in H Company, 2nd B
More about Robert Leckie...
Helmet for My Pillow Strong Men Armed: The United States Marines Against Japan George Washington's War: The Saga of the American Revolution Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War

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